In a hybrid art practice focused on sustainability, innovation and preservation, Chad Bridgewater presents once impaired tools that are repaired, re-purposed and reconsidered through a variety of traditional and contemporary solutions. Bearing scars and other indicators of a life interrupted, these understated acts of care evoke feelings of empathy and nostalgia through an awareness of remaining purpose. Even if the original utilitarian function is not always fully preserved, an encoded emotional and psychological function is revealed in various aspects of each repair. These fixes focus on emerging technologies such as 3D scanning and printing to work in tandem with, not just replace, traditional technologies and processes. Chad takes advantage of each tool’s associations with its own function, manual labor and self-reliance and combines them with each alteration’s anthropomorphic qualities to induce a narrative and history personal to the viewer.
Chad Bridgewater is a Master of Fine Arts graduate from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Bridgewater is currently an adjunct instructor at Carthage College teaching 3D design and other various Sculpture classes. His recent sculptural work is a reaction to tensions and uncertainties generated when challenged with change in an increasingly digital world. Reclaimed, manually operated components are contrasted against computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine operations and interfaces. Impaired and discarded tools are mended and repurposed using traditional and digital fabrication techniques to create one-of-a-kind, hybrid art objects.